by Nicholas Ashton, CEO/CIO, CommSmart Global Group
It does not matter what size your city is, the crimes are the same. The fact is, the majority of criminal acts are drug related in some fashion or another. The criminal thread when followed, will touch or finally rest with a drug-related reasoning.
I joined the morning shift of New Philadelphia Police Department halfway into what they class as the quieter shift, this was not to be!
Upon arrival, signing paperwork, I was hurried out the door by the officer of the day, Captain Paul Prossi, just a 'come on' and hurrying out the police car.
Prossi was not talking to me and was on the radio immediately regarding the call that had just come in from the local shopping mall of shoplifters plying their wares and stealing items which would be of small values, but a theft is a theft.
One suspect apprehended, the rest left in a vehicle, so the chase or sighting of that vehicle was on. Several units were dispatched and I saw how immediately these officers intertwine their skill sets in working a potential case.
The car was not found, but one suspect was now going to be interviewed. The report of the crime was made by the loss prevention department of the store and although they have good intentions, communications are in dire need of revision. Law enforcement anywhere can only act on the information given and it seems global, loss prevention sadly lacks in that department. The hiring practices for loss prevention which is a billion dollar plus problem, that we, the public pay for, needs not only a fresh coat of paint, it requires pulling apart and redesigning in this electronic digital age.
It is our proactive approach that is making the difference, cities like New Philadelphia and all other cities and villages within Tuscarawas County will be rolling out this new Smart City technology shortly.
Our next was in opinion sickening. This warm weather makes us do stupid things! Going shopping to the local supermarket, taking your dog and leaving it in the car whilst you shop, is stupid and criminal. Pets have no place being in a hot car, where the heat builds like a pressure cooker. Have respect for your pet or don't have one!
So if you live in New Philadelphia, Ohio, be thankful you a great team. Next time you are close enough to shake their hand and say thank you. Oh, if you are stopped by one of the 'finest', just comply, listen and answer their questioning logically.
So a fast start to the day for me to see the local force in action. Then it got even faster!
A wanted suspect had been seen in the local McDonalds and we were dispatched forthwith. Armed and dangerous, so several units sent. McDonald's was directly called and... no one was picking up the phone! Called again and officers were now in the parking lot and out of sight. No answer yet again.
Then finally, they answer and state that the suspect had left and was walking in a certain direction. White male, dark hair, white shirt, dark pants and a backpack.
One officer spots the individual and parks out of sight across the street where the suspect is sitting with his back to the road. Captain Prossi drives directly toward the suspect, jumps out of the car, draws his gun and commands the individual to place his hands above his head, which he complies with immediately.
You could by the actions of the suspect, he knew the system well! He rolled over and lay down on his stomach whilst another officer removes his wallet to check identification. He was not the man they were looking for with outstanding warrants.
It was as we were driving back the station that a comment over the radio was made regarding the latest stop. 'Thank him for his cooperation, I think he understands and let him on his way'. It was stated in a courteous manner and showed me that officers are people as well and as it should be.
We returned to the shopping mall where the female suspect had given certain information regarding who she was with and that they were from Akron, Ohio.
They think they come to another city, like New Philadelphia and rip off stores. WRONG! People like this stand out like a sore thumb and all retail is informed of 'like incidents' immediately.
We were cruising the parking lot and other local business and did not find the vehicle.
As we were just patrolling the main streets, a car with a cracked windshield pass us, Prossi, sensed something, pulled in behind and turned on his lights as we followed. Called in the license plate and got back his information that the owner was a woman and we saw a man driving. He pulls over, Prossi approaches the car, the driver gives him his license and Prossi steps back and radios in the details for a check. He was clean, a current license was and Prossi reproached and sent them on his way.
In our conversation regarding that stop, on the noted the attitude of the passenger, the owner of the car whose license was suspended, she raised and stretched her arms outward in a manner that suggests she and law enforcement have differences. Prossi then informs me that when questioning the driver, when asking have you had any other instances of law enforcement, he replied he had just got out of prison when Prossi followed up with the 'what for the question', the driver replied murder.
That is why officers have to be on guard at all time, you never know who you are approaching!
When the next call came in, a domestic case of a woman being restrained inside a house by her possible boyfriend. Lights, sirens, and a tactical drive were made to the location.
One side note, Capt. Prossi dislikes traffic and New Philadelphia, in my opinion, has no traffic issues or maybe it does!
We are first on scene and woman crying is outside as is a baby in car seat on the grass. The back of a vehicle is dented as if someone had run into it.
The baby was the daughters who were and is having issues. The boyfriend/father had taken the baby away from the girlfriend and driven to the girlfriend's mother's house because of unstable suggestions that had transpired between them.
The girlfriend drove her car into the back of the other vehicle. She stated that she was going to hit the tree and kill herself and this apparently was not the first time she stated this.
This is where I saw four officers working as a team, listening, questioning and establishing what had really occurred. The young lady was certainly in a very hypertensive mood. Her actions showed this.
After twenty minutes and phone calls to Child Protective Services and other professional departments, it was deemed that she was a danger to herself and needed evaluation. They call it 'Pinked Slipped'.
She was cuffed and placed by a female officer in a patrol car ready to be transported to the local hospital.
A very sad situation that is being seen so often in the neighborhoods of our cities.
An interesting three hours of what is normal the quietest shift of the day.
In speaking with Chief Mike Goodwin regarding the morning, we discussed the events and I see why this teamwork is so important from the top down. They all, as individuals communicate as a logical team to maintain the safety and security of New Philadelphia, Ohio.
The People are the Police and Police are the People